How to Choose a Healthcare Appointment Booking Software: Features That Matter
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Digital health is revolutionizing healthcare. The conventional techniques for providing care are no longer used. Nowadays, most necessary administrative procedures are handled online. And the key instrument in it is healthcare appointment booking software, where users may easily arrange an appointment with a few taps.
While the traditional method doesn’t allow patients to book online, they need to call to book an appointment. This can be overwhelming for them – calling the receptionist, calling on hold, asking for slots, booking appointments, etc.
Why is appointment booking software needed in healthcare?
Healthcare is miserable without appointment booking software. This online scheduling software has become essential for patients, especially those who regularly visit hospitals for their check-ups.
As per the report, around 64% of patients prefer online booking. Furthermore, daily, there are a million patients who visit the hospital. And their journey of getting treatment starts with booking an appointment.
On the other hand, for healthcare professionals to attract more patients, an appointment must be made.
According to the survey, If a new service provider offers online booking, 94% of people would be more likely to choose that provider.
As a result, appointment scheduling software for healthcare is necessary, but what features matter when choosing the software?
Here is the list of features that will be needed in healthcare scheduling software.
So, let’s take a deep dive to understand why these features are important…
Essential features to be needed in healthcare scheduling software
Users can schedule and book appointments using standard appointment scheduling software. However, it must include a few elements for a better user experience regarding healthcare.
Accept bookings from multiple channels.
Allowing patients to book appointments from multiple channels can increase patients experience.
The channels include different social media handles such as Facebook, Instagram, google maps, booking pages, and from official websites. As a result, adding multiple channels allows your patient to book an appointment and quickly grab care facilities.
There are very few platforms that allow users to schedule from multiple channels. However, platforms such as Simplybook.me provide these features.
Patient Intake forms
The patient intake form is the initial step in every appointment booking process, which collects data regarding patients, such as patient personal details, insurance information, referral and adjunctive care, health concern, and current symptoms.
Furthermore, the medical staff should be informed of this information for verification, and once it has been confirmed, the appointment should be approved. Meanwhile, doctors should also be given access to this data so they can review it before consulting.
Allow patients to check the Real-time availability
Earlier, patients have to call/email to confirm availability and then make an appointment accordingly. And most of the time, patients have to schedule their appointments on whichever time slots are available because the appointments are always occupied in hospitals, so there is no option for patients to accept the date on which they receive them.
As a result, by allowing patients to check availability, they can easily manage their schedules.
For instance, when patients input their timings and date, the appointment software will automatically filter and show the available slots in nearby hospitals during that time.
Two-way calendar sync
After the appointment’s confirmation and scheduling, the medical staff should be able to sync their calendars with the online medical appointment software. The medical staff can verify the other appointments and avoid scheduling patients twice by syncing the calendar.
Similarly, patients can also organize their appointments properly, which eventually gets rid of multiple concurrent bookings. That could pose issues for both patients and medical professionals.
Automatic booking confirmation and reminders
Once the patients book their appointment, the medical scheduling software should automatically send them a confirmation mail. And another mail before the time of the appointment as a reminder mail.
This feature saves patients and healthcare professionals time and avoids missing out on appointments. Which eventually wastes more time in rescheduling and booking the appointment.
Canceling and rescheduling
Frequently, medical staff must change their schedule and reschedule their appointments and meetings due to emergencies such as urgent operations, so healthcare professionals might be unable to consult patients who are supposed to be consulted at that time.
Similarly, there might be some situations where patients need to cancel the bookings and reschedule them. However, these features allow both to manage their appointments hassle-free.
Live chat option
The feature is vital to assist the patient in booking appointments and guide them regarding software features’ use cases.
However, patients can also ask clarifying questions regarding the payments, slots available, and so on.
Allow Doctors to check patient’s EHR before consulting
This feature can save a lot of time for healthcare professionals and patients. Because doctors often have many patients to consult per day, most of their time is spent on-screening documents and synthesizing the data such as test results and reports of patients.
As a result, this feature will allow doctors to view the patient’s medical history before a few minutes of consulting. And in the long run, this could save time and allow doctors to consult with more patients.
Patients can complete their treatment journey with the help of secure payment options. However, because there are often few payment options, such as only debit cards, patients avoid booking appointments because they prefer credit cards for payment in some cases. So Having multiple payment options can help you increase your revenue.
To sum it up
Although appointment scheduling software is a primary healthcare need, multiple booking software options are available for healthcare, such as home care scheduling software, medical scheduling software, etc.
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